Nutrition Quick Tip: Plan Your Diet Cheats

As the old adage goes, "People don't plan to fail; they fail to plan."

When it comes to sticking to your diet, failing to plan can be detrimental. That includes planning your cheats or splurges. Because let's face it: No matter how motivated you are to lose or maintain your weight, you need a hall pass to get wild and eat a cream puff every now and then.

Cream puffs aren't your thing? Then pick your poison: deep-dish pizza, mint-chocolate ice cream, fried chicken or, not just the head of a gingerbread man, but the entire thing. Can you imagine the irreverence? Say "yes" because, if you want to fit into those super-tight, skinny jeans, you're going to need to loosen the reins a little.

Human beings aren't perfect. As much as we may want to think we can eat nothing but broccoli and brown rice and never give in to the irresistible smell of a warm peanut butter brownie, we can't. At some point, we're going to cave and eat the brownie, so we might as well just anticipate it to avoid a mental and emotional game of self-loathing and regret.

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Some people find success in having one, big cheat meal each week; others favor one small cheat a day. Whichever you prefer, plan it.

If you want to go all out at Sunday dinner and eat a chalupa and the aforementioned brownie, put it on your calendar and look forward to it all week. If you prefer to have a piece of chocolate each day to satisfy your sugar cravings, keep a dark chocolate bar in your desk or in your purse. Just be sure to portion it out into individual servings in advance, so you don't overdo it.

You'll be much more likely to stay on track if, on Day 1 of your weight-loss journey, you put in your mind (and your iPhone) that you get to indulge a little. This way, you can have your dreams of cake and actually eat some, too.

More: Why Diet Cheats May Help You Lose Weight

What's your nutrition quick tip? Leave it in the comments or email your tip to nutrition editor Nicole Reino.

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